Heavy Vanguard: Laurie Anderson // Big Science

When we started Heavy Vanguard, there were a few albums that Scott and I considered essential to cover, to the point that we even made a list. However, as time has passed, we’ve taken a more laissez faire to our picks, often just rooting through RateYourMusic’s experimental charts for a hidden gem or two. So, a bunch of albums were forgotten, with one of these being Big Science. And, fuck, what a mistake it was to skip this for so long.

Laurie Anderson is a woman who wears many hats—part musician, part director, part visual artist, all-around performance artist—and she’s made waves by combining all these mediums together in new and interesting ways. Big Science was her debut album, and is still very much considered her magnum opus. Within this album, Anderson presents herself as an artist with visions beyond the aural, using spoken word, odd instrumentation (seriously, there’s a fucking bagpipe on this album) and heavy synth use to create something entirely unique, beautiful, and highly representative of the 1980s.

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This Week’s Album: